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About dirtydan

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Toronto, ON
  • Interests
    Travel, Music, Golf
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Thanks all. This is one suite perk I think we will certainly take advantage of (first time in a SS)! Too bad it doesn't apply on the way back to the ship (or does it)?
  2. Maybe a dumb question but can someone please explain how the priority tendering off the ship for suit guests works? Does it only allow you priority for the first tender of the day or Can you choose a time? Do you still need a ticket or do you simply walk on to the next avaialable tender? if you need a ticket, where do you get them without standing in line?
  3. All, a brief update. After weighing all of the kind advice... especially everyone’s not so subtle suggestion that we should find a way to do Florence right.... and with a little wheeling and dealing with the airlines, I am pleased to report that we managed to change our flights to arrive in Italy sooner. We will now be 2 nights in Venice, 3 nights in Florence and 3 in Rome before we head to the ship. Now I just have to figure out how to pay for all this 🤔 Oh well, how often do you celebrate a 20th wedding anniversary with a European trip!!! Thanks again for all the tips.
  4. My DW is the queen of finding connections in the weirdest places and I am usually dumbfounded. Her encounters have included: Meeting a couple on a NCL cruise who lived 2 blocks away from us. Discovrring that a passenger sitting next to us on a Vegas flight was a cousin I didn’t know I had. Running into the daughter of a woman my wife grew up with (but does not see often) on the street in Israel (we live in Canada) whom she recognized from the brochures for our son’s school.
  5. Thanks, I will continue with my research. DR
  6. Well, the mob has spoken and we are heeding your advice (some of it anyways). Due to other family commitments we cannot depart for Italy any sooner than we already are so we have decided to split our "pre-cruise" time between Venice (2 nights) and Rome (3 nights) and do a shore excursion to Florence when the ship stops in Livorno instead. I know I will take some flak from you for our choices (especially choosing Rome over Florence) however, in doing so, there were some logistical factors for us to consider. Firstly, even if we wanted to skip Venice (which we don't) and concentrate instead on Florence and Rome, we are committed to flying into Venice. When I booked our flights we used air miles and at the time there were no direct (or reasonably direct) flights available to get us to Rome (or anywhere else in Italy for that matter) unless we made several awful connections along the way. Also, even, if I were able to change our flights now (which I can't), the cost to do so would be quite punitive. So.... Venice it is. As for choosing Rome over Florence pre-cruise (again, in my view there are no "bad" choices") we wanted to keep our 2 "travel days" within Italy as straight forward as possible. While we could get to either Florence or Rome by train pretty easily (both direct, high-speed, with reserved seating etc), I'm sure you will all agree that it is far more cumbersome to get from Florence to Civitavecchia than from Rome. In fact, so as not to have any worries getting to the port, we we will likely use Roma Cabs (or similar service) as it pretty much door to door service from our Rome hotel as compared to going by train from Rome... which I'm told can be a pain in the butt once you get to the Civitachecchia train station. As for our making the most of our shore excursion to Florence, I am hopeful that I can find 2 or 3 other couples on our roll-call who will be interested in booking a private van tour rather than dealing with the larger (and overpriced) tours offered by CC. Again, thank you all for your input. If you have other suggestions/recommendations for our trip (in particular, hotels, restaurants, tours, museums etc. in Venice and Rome), I welcome your suggestions. I will of course, continue to scour the "port" boards for general advice as well. DR
  7. Thank you for your wishes and thank you for the tips, especially the ones regarding pre-planning. On other trips we have tried to simply wander around and "wing it" and many times, that decision turned out great. However, with VERY limited amount of time we will have at each destination and with high-season crowds in abundance wherever we go, we definitely need to plan ahead.
  8. I wouldn't say I am "determined" to stick with my plan. If I were, you would be right and there would be no point in my asking. You do make some very good points and I will definitely take them into consideration. I know that trying to squeeze 3 cities in 4 1/2 days is tight and in then end, may well take your advice. Also, thank you for the tips on the train web site. If there are compelling reasons to modify, we will and I do appreciate your input. FYI the other line is Italio and two of its major shareholders are the Chairman of Ferrari and of owner of Tod's leather.
  9. The way I figure it, the entire trip is going to be merely getting a “taste” of a lot of different destinations (the 10 night cruise is also a very port intensive) with the goal of returning someday to spend more time... so why not do the same “pre-cruise” too. With the high speed trains ... we figure we can leave early and still have most of the day in Florence and Rome. Also, there is a restaurant in Florence that we have been told not to miss (Il Latini) which we can only do if we overnight there. Do the higher “class” seats on the high speed trains sell out often in the summer? How far in advance should we book?
  10. DW and I are cruising western Med in July on Connie (Rome to Barcelona). We arrive in Venice on a Wednesday around noon and our cruise leaves from Cicivitavecchia the following Monday. Never been to Italy before.... and not sure how to best utilize the time we have. My original thought was to spend Wednesday/Thursday in Venice, then train to Florence on Friday, followed by train to Rome for Saturday & Sunday before we head to the port on Monday. Yes, the cruise does stop in Livorno so we could see Florence from there but am afraid that will be too rushy given the travel time to and from the port. Also, was hoping to get to San Gimignano & Volterra that day. Any thoughts or advice?
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